The Photoshop Elements 14 upgrade is out as of today.
Elements 14 was designed to help us focus on the memory. If you’ve hung out on this blog enough, you know that to me, recording the memories – the memory of the first step, the memory of baby napping on daddy, the memory of baking cookies with grandma – those memories are of paramount importance.
We don’t always have the time or skill to set up a camera for the perfect shot. Of course, learning to set up that shot quickly is hugely important to photographers. However, it’s nice to see the new tools that Elements gives us every year to help correct the issues that we didn’t get right on camera.
This year, Adobe introduced upgrades to all major components of of Photoshop Elements.
- Organizer – facial recognition is now automatic, as is placing your photos on a map for a geographic overview of where you’ve been and what you’ve done. The interface works a lot like photos on your phone, which can be sorted by time or place.
- The Editor interface is built around a wide variety of users:
- The Quick Edit mode, which is designed for brand new Elements users, provides automatic fixes for common shooting issues. This year, it offers a huge number of new filters. Even better, it analyzes your specific photo and chooses the 5 Smart Looks that will look the “best” on it, based on whether it has people, its composition, the colors in it, etc.
- The Guided Edit mode boasts a new user interface in Photoshop Elements 14. Unlike last year’s text-based prompts, this version presents options with visual prompts. It has some cool new tools:
- A Resize interface, to end the mystery of how to format your photo for the web or print.
- A Speed effect, to add the appearance of motion to a moving car or kid on a swing. This was previously available only in the Expert Mode.
- A Sharing Interface, so that Elements can be your end to end photo manager. From import and organization to posting online.
- The Expert mode is where the good stuff is. If you want to get the best look out of your photos, you need to learn the tools presented in the Expert mode. Taking full control of what Elements has to offer is the best way to get the best edits out of your photos. This year in the Expert mode, we have:
- Dehaze – I’ve mentioned this feature a couple of times in conjunction with Lightroom. In the Photoshop Elements 14 upgrade, you can now access Dehaze from the Enhance menu as either an automatic edit or as a pixel layer based dialog box.
- Shake Reduction – great for selfies, phone photos in general and any shots with blur caused by your hands moving while the shutter was open. You access this one also via the Enhance menu. You show PSE the direction of the shake and it corrects the blur.
- The Refine Selection Tool is more sensitive this year. This one is worth it’s own tutorial – stay tuned for that next week. This is a great addition for those who like to remove backgrounds or put the subject of their photo in a new setting.
- Do you have Elements 11 or prior? I can’t say it enough. Upgrade already! Elements has changed drastically since the old days. You’ll save time and get better edits with this upgrade.
- If you have Elements 12 or 13, and use the Quick or Guided Editors, you’ll appreciate the new features. You’ll have many more filters to choose from, and the Resize manager will save time and brain power!
- Expert mode users of Elements 12 or 13 will get Dehaze, Shake Reduction and the enhanced Refine Selection tools. If those features are important to you, upgrade.
Photoshop Elements 14 costs $99.99, or $149.99 if you’d like its companion video editing software, Premiere Elements. Upgrade from a prior version of Elements to PSE 14 for $79.99. Purchase here.
All photos courtesy of Adobe.